David Knight Collection

Subject: Records collected by David Knight, local historian of Westcott, Dorking.

Ref No: DM1

Date: (1692) – [c. 1990s?]

Extent: 34 boxes, 83 files and 35 items.

Details The records comprise: local land and property records, 1715-[c.1990s?] ; lawsuits, 1759; records of local government, (1692)-1983;  records of local businesses, 1819- [c.1979?];  local organisations, clubs and societies 1887-[c.1981?]; records relating to the Dorking and Horsham Turnpike Road, 1834-1880; local events and performances (1827)-[c.1990s]; local services and facilities, (1864)-1988; records of people and families, (1797)-1990; military and wartime activity,  [c.1980s?]-1990;  scrapbooks, 1839- 1984; photographs and photographic postcards, (late 16th century?)-1987; print engravings, paintings and drawings of local views and people and of subjects by local artists, 1788-1985; news-cutting transcripts and personal research,1964-[c.1980s?]; and ephemera, [c.1900s?]- 1982.

Biographical History: David Knight died at the age of 58 in 1994. He had spent all his life in Westcott, where he lived in Furlong Road and worked as a gardener. He took a deep interest in the history of Dorking and Westcott and built up a large collection of local records and photographs. He also had a great interest in the Dorking and District Museum, donating to it many individual items. He collaborated in the production of Dorking Past & Present, a book of photographs of the town published by Kohler & Coombes in1980. He also wrote Dorking in Wartime which he published himself and Growing Up in Westcott published by Dorking Local History Group in 1994.

Provenance: Many of these records originally came from the business dealings of James White and Sons, auctioneers and estate agents of Dorking, (est.1817) who also acted as tithe agents, and surveyors of the turnpike during the 19th century.  Others have come from the business and family records of John and William Attlee, corn merchants of Dorking, during the 19th and 20th centuries, while the rest would appear to have been collected on an ad hoc basis reflecting David Knight’s interest in the history of Dorking and the parishes immediately surrounding it, particularly Westcott. Their provenance is unknown or uncertain and they have therefore been arranged according to type and place.

Some items were deposited by David Knight before his death. The rest were either donated by or purchased from his executor between 1995 and 2000. The bulk of his collection of photographs was purchased by Dorking Museum from his estate, funded by public subscription. Other parts of his collection were deposited at Surrey History Centre in Woking. While there are a large number of original records, many others are photocopies. The date of creation of the photocopies is mostly unknown but thought to be between the 1970s and 1995. Where photocopies were made, some of the original documents were later deposited at Surrey History Centre in Woking but in many cases the location of the original documents is unknown.

Contents: The following overview of the collection provides links to Acrobat PDF documents detailing the items held in each section of the archive, along with additional detailed contextual information, which can be downloaded. Alternatively, individual items can be searched for through our general OnLine Index.

DM/1/1Land and property recordsDM/1/1
DM/1/3Records of local governmentPDF
DM/1/4Records of local businessesPDF
DM/1/5Records of local organisations, clubs and societiesPDF
DM/1/6Records relating to the Dorking and Horsham Turnpike RoadPDF
DM/1/7Records of local events and performancesPDF
DM/1/8Records of local services and facilitiesPDF
DM/1/9Records of people and familiesPDF
DM/1/10Records of military and wartime activityPDF
DM/1/11Scrapbooks (primarily relating to Attlee, and White & Co)PDF
DM/1/12 (1 to 6)Photographs and photographic postcards: Abinger to Box HillPDF
DM/1/12 (7 to 12)Photographs and photographic postcards: Brockham to CranleighPDF
DM/1/12 (13)Photographs and photographic postcards: DorkingPDF
DM/1/12 (14 to 31)Photographs and photographic postcards: Epsom to Polesden LaceyPDF
DM/1/12 (32 to 36)Photographs and photographic postcards: Ranmore to UnknownPDF
DM/1/12 (37)Photographs and photographic postcards: WestcottPDF
DM/1/13Print engravings, paintings and drawingsPDF
DM/1/14Newspaper transcripts and personal researchPDF
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